In this fantasy set in the Old West, Blackjack Britton (Eric Roberts) is an outlaw on the run from police after a bank robbery. Britton and his gang wind up in a small town called Refuge, where things are rather unusual -- outlaws are warmly welcomed and offered free food and lodging but warned not to swear, and none of the residents carry guns, including Sheriff Forrest (Sam Shepard). Britton and his gang notice that Sheriff Forrest bears a striking resemblance to the famous gunfighter Wild Bill Hickock, who died some years ago. Elsewhere in Refuge, Britton's gang meets dead ringers for such late, great outlaws as Doc Holliday (Randy Quaid), Billy the Kid (Donnie Wahlberg), and Jesse James (J.D. Souther). Britton learns that Refuge is actually Purgatory, where the gunfighters are stranded between Heaven and Hell, hoping to hoping to find a redemptive grace that will bring them salvation as they struggle not to backslide into final damnation. Soon Britton's gang becomes restless, and the men of Refuge may have to return to their guns if they are to protect the town. Produced for the TNT cable network, Purgatory also features Peter Stormare, Brad Rowe, and Richard Edson. The film is also available on home video in a Spanish subtitled edition.
by Mark Deming synopsis